By J. Coyden Palmer, Special to the NNPA from the Chicago Crusader –
After news broke that Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. had an illicit relationship with a white woman in Washington, D.C. and met with an Indian political group, allegedly to talk about raising funds for former Governor Rod Blagojevich, his opponent in the upcoming congressional election said Jackson needs to come clean about all of his recent dealings. Isaac Hayes is the Republican nominee running against Jackson. He said the people of the second congressional district have a right to know who Jackson is.
“I think what all the congressional district members want is for him to tell the truth. Just be open and honest about what happened and why he did it, then we can decide whether or not we believe him,” Hayes said.
“I think he needs to answer to this situation. There are people who have supported him who are now questioning his honesty and integrity. I’m not concerned about the legal ramifications, I’m concerned about the people who want to have a representative in Washington with character and values and right now that’s in question.”
As details continue to emerge about the encounter between Jackson and local businessman Raghuveer Nayak, the congressman said he has done nothing wrong and continues to seek office.
Jackson’s comments came a day after a report published in the Chicago Sun-Times alleges that Jackson directed Nayak during a meeting in D.C. to donate millions of dollars to Blagojevich’s campaign fund in exchange for Jackson being named to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat of President Obama.
In a written statement released to the media, Jackson restated that he has done nothing illegal and that he has spoken with federal investigators. He said no charges have been filed and he never expects them to be filed. He further believes it would be silly for him to raise millions of dollars for someone other than himself.
“My interest in the senate seat was based on years of public service, which I am proud of,” the statement began, “not some improper scheme with anyone.”
Jackson went on a local Chicago radio station and taunted federal investigators telling them to “bring it on” if they had any evidence against him. Many feel that was an unwise move on his part and believe all of the media attention out about Jackson’s professional and personal life is because of his interest in running for mayor.
“I think all of this is connected because the election is coming up,” said Raymont Sullivan, who lives in Jackson’s district. “What he did with that woman is between him and his wife. The feds haven’t charged him with a thing. In fact, they said some months back he wasn’t a target of any investigation. So, I think this is all political smearing and it is working.”
Jackson asked for privacy on the matter concerning his relationship with a D.C. bar hostess. Giovana Huidobro was allegedly flown to Chicago on at least two occasions by Nayak at Jackson’s request. His wife, Alderman Sandi Jackson said the couple has had to deal with the Huidobro situation in the past.
“The reference to a social acquaintance is a private and personal matter between me and my wife that was handled some time ago,” Jackson said in his statement. “I ask that you respect our privacy.
“I know I have disappointed some supporters, and for that I am deeply sorry. But I remain committed to serving my constituents and fighting on their behalf.”
Hayes thinks it is time for new leadership in the district Jackson has represented for eight terms. He said he knows he has an uphill battle as an African American Republican. But, he believes the election of Barack Obama two years ago has shown that Americans are not as concerned about political parties or race as in the past. He said they want a person who can fix the problems ailing their communities. He also thinks Jackson is disingenuous when he is talking about the possibility of running for mayor of Chicago while still being in Congress.
“He is expected to serve out two years as a congressman, if elected. If he runs for mayor and wins that would mean he is only going to serve as congressman for three months,” Hayes said.
“That would be unfair to the people that have gone to the polls. They are not getting full disclosure. They want someone who is going to go into that office and clean up some of the problems that have been created in the past 16 years.”
Asked to elaborate on what those problems are, Hayes had three words: jobs, jobs, jobs. He said if elected, he plans to cut taxes for businesses so they can invest in underserved communities. Hayes has a website for his campaign and given all of the recent press given to Jackson’s troubles, he said he has gotten a crush of web hits and phone calls from voters trying to find out about his platform.
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